tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC April 8, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
>> thanks so much. high noon here. we have breaking news in syria where the state department is monitoring reports of a chemical attack that may have killed dozens. >> these are horrible photos. >> the question now will president trump take action? boots on the ground. reaction from the u.s. mexico border as hundreds of national guard are deployed and is john kelly coming undone? reports of the chief of staff blowing up, threatening to quit, meanwhile, why the president doubled down on his support of the epa chief and what he says is behind pruit's expensive spending. it's here on msnbc live. we begin with breaking news coverage of a reported chemical
attack that killed dozens including 22 children. the white house is waiting for more information and standing by the president's desire to pull troops out of syria, an idea he floated a few days ago. >> the senior national security cabinet has been talking with him throughout the evening and this morning. >> even though the president said that. >> the president has a point that's clear and i'll reiterate that point. the pendulum has swung in the wrong direction for too long. the americans aren't going to fix this or in syria in this stage. >> meanwhile, republican senator lindsey graham asked president trump to never back down vowing to punish bashar al-assad. >> he's challenged him in the mast not to use chemical weapons. we had a one and done missile
atta attack. they see our resolve breaking and it becomes a tweet without meaning he's hurt himself in forth corkorea. he'll look in the eyes of russia and iran. >> we have full coverage today for you from the top stories from white house correspondent jeff bennett and rodriguez and alexi from axios and npr and i'll talk to castro coming up. let's head to the white house for reaction. jeff, another good day to you on this sunday. what can you tell us? >> president trump responded using what is his favorite me megaphone twitter to level the most direct criticism yet. president trump says putin
bears responsibility for that deadly chemical weapons attack in
syria. the president says many dead including women and children making it completely inaccessib inaccessible. big price to pay. another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. sick, if president obama had crossed his stated red line in the sand, the syrian disaster would have ended long ago. animal assad would have been history. and the president is pointing out there that back in august 2013, former president
obama said that syria had crossed a red line by using chemical weapons against its own people and that he would be seeking congressional authorization for any air strikes but that push for air strikes eventually faded so now, as we wait to see how the trump administration may respo respond, remember, it was syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians that prompted
president trump last year to launch the surprise military attack against assad's military. the president, president trump at the time framed it as a moral issue. take a look. >> using a deadly nerve agent, a assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. it is in this vital national security interest of the united states to prevent and to deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. tonight i call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter. >> for next steps, the white house homeland security advisor said today on one of the sunday political shows that the president's national security team had been reviewing photos and information from syria throughout the night and he says that nothing should be taken off the table. that's the phrase he uses in
terms of the response. i can tell you based on the guidance we're getting from the white house we do not expect an on camera statement or any movement from the president tonight. although we do understand that the president is meeting with his senior military leadership tomorrow, alex. >> okay. thank you very much for the latest on this situation developing in syria from the white house. joining me now democratic for texas, he's a member of the house foreign affairs committee. you're the man i want to talk to this sunday. your reaction to the president's response thus far. are you willing to give the president credit for out right blaming putin and assad? >> he's naming vladimir putin f assad. we have to figure out the options to respond and whether the president tends on responding or as he said a few
days ago whether he takes on taking american troops to syria. this puts the president obviously in a big bind. >> yeah, i want to get your reaction to tweets the president set out he blames the president. >> a few things, in 2013 it appeared as syria did use chemical gas, a few things happened. first, president obama wanted to take action but support to take action from our allies in the u.k. for example fell apart and congress fell apart. i remember when that discussion was going on, inl -- i believe in august 2014 people reached
out saying we don't want the united states to get embroiled in another war in the middle east. there is still a lot of feeling along americans that we went into the war in iraq under pretense that was false, there was a lot of fatigue about being in iraq for so long and so the support for any action fell apart. we ended up doing was a compromise which was a train and equip mission to train syria to fight their battle against assad while other countries got involved including russia and the trade and equip program fell apart. it was a failure but an attempt to help them help themselves. in 2013, 2014, you remember the way that episode was revolved russia agreed they would come and work with syria and get syria to export chemical weapons or give up chemical weapons so those couldn't be used against the people of syria. it's clear that that russia
allowed them to keep some of the ch chemical gas. >> john bolton starts his job, national security advisor starts tomorrow and mike pompeo thursday. you expressed grave concerns about both men but are you encouraged how they will advice the president in response to the syria attack and going forward? >> i've been critical but those roles, it's true in those roles they will be rookies here at a very critical time. particularly with a new s secretary of state and we have
an over sight ability. >> sit where you are. i want to ask you more about what is happening along the border but right now i want to get further information. 250 are heading to the texas bored e.r.s part of the 4,000 approved by secretary of defense mat its. maya rodriguez is there at the border down of hildago. troops are arriving. have they arrived and what is the reaction or anticipation of them getting there. >> reporter: we haven't seen troops living yet and it not clear where they will be deployed. this is like you mentioned the community of hilalgo. mexico is quite further south
ocho -- of learhere. however, here in the community of h iri drk irkhidg lo. we spoke with a sister with catholic charities of the rio grou grand valley. take a listen. >> i don't know militarization of our community will be peaceful. the communities are peaceful militarizing and i hope it does not disrupt communities and the safety and how we move around.
>> in addition to sending national guard members of the 3w0 border, they would be sending equipment and helicopters. we haven't seen those but as you know, it's a long one along the state of texas. we're expecting to hear more details about this plan in the coming days, alex? >> i'll ask you to do something. i don't know if you can based on your camera but i'm trying to figure out how tall the lower parts of that wall behind you are compared to a person. i mean, would it be easily jumped over, climbed over by somebody, clearly those tall sections absolutely not. but i'm curious how this wall is received by the locals there, how easy it would be to be penetrated? >> reporter: as you can see, this is at least 20 to 25 feet tall. there are other parts of the wall that are half that size
further down here. this is actually a water treatment area that is run by the local municipality, that's part of the reason this wall is set up here. basically, what you are hearing from people here is that not so much issues about the wall per se there is that concern about having sort of those boots on the ground along the border. what will that look like and mean for them? those are questions they have even though we seen past presidents deploy the national guard. >> folks in general are okay with that wall physically being there. if you can look behind you and have your camera man pan down, it looks like that maybe, what, 10-foot high wall is exists as you go further down. is that as far you can see the kind of wall we're talking about? >> reporter: yeah, it is. i would say it's like it's cut in half literally as you go
further down. it goes down for miles and sort of the ten-foot high section as you described there. there is a gate here and of course, that gate opens and closes and that again, is for the water treatment that's going on in this area so that vehicles can get in and out. i'll tell you this and i'm sorry, there is a plane flying low not related to the national guard. we seen customs and border patrol going up and down this levee for two days now that we've been here so they patrol up and down. they keep an eye even though this wall is physically here. >> thank you for the extended coverage and for answering my questions and giving us a good look at it. let's bring in congressman castro from texas. when you hear maya's report, do you concur can the fact the residents down in that part of texas are okay with having a wall, some what insightunsightl
like what it does. >> most folks in texas and south texas disagree with further expanding that wall. they are against building a border wall across the united states of america and people are against militarization of communities in south texas and west texas. what makes this most agreesoegr is we have to consider the fact border crossings from the south are about at a 40 or 45-year low. >> what do you attribute that -- >> we have more border patrol officers on the southern border than we've ever had in our history. we have something like three times what we had in 2004. so i think rather than militarizing the border, the president ought to let border patrol do it's job. >> why do you think you're seeing this 40, 45% drop in border crossings? you don't necessarily support the sending of national guard
troops down there to continue patrolling the border. >> no, i don't think that's what folks who signed up for the national guard signed up for. i think they have better uses and i don't think we should militarize those places. we ought to let border patrol do their jobs. again, border crossings are at a 40-plus year low. if you look back 20 years, they were hundreds of thousands higher pehigh higher persons higher than now. this mostly is an issue of politics for the president. it's a way for him to continue scapegoating immigrants, creating fear among americans about immigrants, even though border crossings again are at a historic low. >> before i let you go, i want to ask you about a bill you are co-sponsoring here, sanctions bill against russia. it's with republican congressman mike turner. how different would this be with
the sanctions we saw against the russian oligarchs? >> this bill would sanction russian companies but also any russian individuals found responsible for the sales bisbu attack. it would be a strong response specifically to that incident. >> okay. representative castro of texas. thank you for the extended appearance. i appreciate that. trump on the record, the president denies reports of another falling out within the white house. who is on the chopping block now? janice, mom told me you bought a house. okay. [ buttons clicking ] [ camera shutter clicks ] so, now that you have a house, you can use homequote explorer. quiet. i'm blasting my quads. janice, look. i'm in a meeting. -janice, look. -[ chuckles ] -look, look. -i'm looking. it's easy. you just answer some simple questions online, and you get coverage options to choose from. you're ruining my workout. cycling is my passion.
. john kelly has been great to me. he's in charge. he's operating on much improved process and every time the president and i talk about that subject, the president has nothing but good things to say. >> the new white house chief economic advisor pushing back on reports about tension. the reoccurring and escalating clashes between the president and chief of staff trace the downward ark of kelly's eight months in the white house. both his credibility and his influence have been severely diminished. the president reacted tweeting "the washington post" is far more fiction than fact. story after story is made up garbage. always quoting sources not names, many of which don't exist. story on john kelly isn't true. just another hit job. joining me now, alexi, political reporter for axios and tim with
npr. i know axios has its on reporting on john kelly threatening to quit. what can you tell us big picture? >> a couple things. john kelly threatened to quit more than once and it speaks to the larger problem nobody feels stable or secure in their job. there is daily unpredictability or chaos and john kelly is not safe from that. and i think we saw this exact same rhetoric from trump in his tweet today calling "the washington post" fake news when he was consider a shakeup of the legal team. it turned out it was true and john dowd resigned. he feels undermined by the president and he's a four-star general who is not used to having this treatment. it's no secret he is looking for a way out. >> okay. and tim, what are you hearing
concerning what alexi just said. the president will deny reports in the past and turn out to be true. what are you hearing about the dynamic and standing long-term or otherwise for john clkelly i the white house. >> he's a form er marine corps officer. he doesn't get there without thriving in discipline and order. that's what he's used to. that's at the beginning of his tenure he brought to the white hou house. that article out lines for all on us how this situation is devolving in the white house that john kelly is starting to be cut out of key meetings and no longer controlling the schedule for the president. it was really interesting steve bannon said not that long ago if the president gets rid of john kelly, it's unlikely he would actually replace him with a meaningful successor.
the president thrives on a sense of chaos and a team of rivals type situations. >> also that he trusts his own instinct. the president thinks he's the most qualified to make the decisions. you guys have both mentioned this article. i want to read more from it. one senior white house official disputed his relationship with trump is turbulent noting the president still talks to him. he pefeels less of a need and feels increasingly emboldened to act alone. the president is just growing comfortable with the role and sidelines aids in the process? >> that's absolutely it. it's 15 months in. he feels more enboldened, being impulsive and unpredictable. john kelly when he came in eight
months ago was an immediate thorn in president trump eastside because he was trying to install more control and sanity in the white house, more order. trump is not someone that operates in this way. we're seeing john kelly is not briefed on certain things or i'm told there are often times john kelly and president trump are on the same page and thinks things are going great and goes rogue and tweets something. it's clear he's being undermined and he doesn't need a chief of staff in kelly, only himself. >> so why is he still there? >> that's an interesting question. we'll see whether or not he remains in that role. but the bottom line is the president is the most powerful politician in the most powerful country in the world. you know, you can't just wing it when it comes to scheduling and
policy and that sort of thing. there does need to be some handling in the sense of staff, senior aids and so there does need to be an individual that takes that role to manage what is going on in the white house. we want to get to syria, an important issue that cropped up front and center. the president condemning this attack while also blaming russia, iran and president obama by extension here. what do you make of that reaction, alexi? >> this is the first time, i believe, that president trump has called out vladimir putin by name. he's usually hesitant to wave a finger at him. it cannot go ignored. when just days ago president trump was threatening to pull out u.s. troops and now we have a chemical weapons attack, he can't sit by. he sent air strikes to syria as
retaliation response. we can expect much of the same. the big thing is how he's bringing putin into this. this is coming, again, as trump maintains he wants to have a co-co corporative relationship but he's still sort of being nice to putin except in this one tweet today. >> tim, to alexi's point, do you think this could change the u.s. strategy as outlined by the president? >> look, this is a seven-year civil war. hundreds of thousands of people have died. the president has made a red line here. last year he said that chemical weapon attacks would not be tolerated. we need to figure out exactly what sort of agent was used in this scenario but the president has made his view clear on this. the fact is, though, that people die in syria every single day and they die from conventional means, as well as these graphic images we're seeing from a
chemical weapon attack and there is no end in sight and clear strategy for how these deaths stop. the president hasn't outlined it. other regional partners haven't outlined it. the war continues and the death whether from chemical attacks or barrel bombs or types of ammunition, they continue unabat unabated. >> good to talk to both of you. thank you so much. >> thank you. up next, fire at trump tower. we'll tell you the key piece of equipment missing from the apartment buildings where the flames broke out.
a hilton getaway means you get more because you get a break on breakfast get an extra day by the pool get to spend more time together get more from your spring break getaway with exclusive hilton offers. book yours, only at hilton.com afi sure had a lot on my mind. my 30-year marriage... ...my 3-month old business... plus...what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i made a point to talk to my doctor. he told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment.
eliquis had both... ...and that turned around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you. i've been making blades here at gillette for 20 years. i bet i'm the first blade maker you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high-quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close.
happening now, details on the trump fire. one was killed and six firefighters injured after the flames broke out on the 50th floor. it was a four-alarm fire. that's big. blake mccoy is outside trump tower with the latest. a significant fire, pretty frightening to witness from the ground. >> reporter: absolutely. ground fifth avenue to a halt. investigators remain here trying to determine what caused this deadly fire. as you mentioned, it broke out on the 50th floor of trump tower, above the president's offices but below his penalty
hou -- penthouse afarmpartmenapart. 67-year-old todd brassnard died. the president was not home at the time but tweeted thanks to firefighters. six of them were injured but we're told all firefighters will be okay. alex? >> all right. now i want to talk about the sprinkler system. you had mentioned that. what is the deal there? there was no sprinklers? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. the new york fire department says there is no sprinklers here. any newer building would be required to have a sprinkler system. that wasn't passed until the '90s. it was grandfathered in and will make it more difficult. >> you can i'm hmaginmagine. thank you blake mccoy. my next guest found how
robert mueller avoided leaks. why nobody knows what is going on inside the mueller investigation. he's a serious guy and hates people who talk to the press. joining me now is the writer of that piece, zackery fryer bigs, national security and intelligence reporter with fox. zackery, does this mean you'll never get an interview with bob mueller yourself because he doesn't want you talking to me? >> i would love to get an interview. the invitation is open. i highly doubt it. >> all right. let's talk about his destain for the press before we get into other issues. is that you think equal to that of president trump the way he views the press or is it different? >> i think it's different in that with president trump we see direct attacks against the press. with bob mueller, what you see is more just a lack of comprehend as to why someone would leak to or spend time with the press outside of an official capacity. it's more about him viewing his job as maintaining this
investigation and progressing the investigation but not working with the press. >> here is what jumped out most at me when i was reading your article. that is he is surrounded by people who are loyal to him. and that is something that seems to be everywhere. people, they do not talk. they have been with him a long time and respect him clearly. compare that to what happens in the white house. there seems to be a different loyalty, ironic considering how much this president values loyalty and specifically asks for it. >> yeah, i think the comparison that i tend to lean on is the ken star investigation and when that was going on, you had a constant turnover of personnel and that meant you had targets for reporters to talk to constantly leaving the team. mueller's team is pretty much consistent from get-go. he's only lost one person from within his original team. so when you look at it, this is a tight knit group. a lot of them worked with him for years inside of the justice
department and private practice and they are keeping their mouths shut. >> it's suggested it will be less about hate and character trait with loyalty with the president but the climate in washington given that overall international interest in this story, as well, prevalence of social media, is there another threat that helps mueller pull this off this kind of loyalty and this vacuum that remains just on to those on this investigation team? >> so, i think that mueller can work within the confines of his team and within the confines of his authorities as a special counsel. i don't think he has to work whether it's using that outside pressure in any way. he's got subpoena power, he's got the ability to compel testimony, get evidence, all of the sorts of things a prosecutor would need. using that outside pressure is only really helpful if you think in someway it will change the odds in your interaction with
somebody and from all the lawyers i talked to, they think that's unnecessary. the element of surprise with defense attorneys not knowing what is coming out of the mueller probe is more powe tablet. >> we have to consider james comey's book is coming out. is that something mueller will frown upon, he'll do a big book tour? >> he's doing a massive book tour and the tickets are now incredibly expensivexpensive. i would imagine that mueller is not overly fond of the idea of any investigations spilling out into a book or on to a book tour but at the same time, there is not much he can do about it. he's got to find a way to progress the investigation regardless of comey. >> very good article zackery y fryer-briggs. up next, president trump calling out vladimir putin out by name.
the results of this, next. at ameriprise financial, we can't predict what tomorrow will bring. but our comprehensive approach to financial planning can help make sure you're prepared for what's expected and even what's not. and that kind of financial confidence can help you sleep better at night. with the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. ♪ from only the thickest, juiciest heinz tomatoes. no one grows ketchup like heinz™. ♪ come to my window ♪ ohh ♪ crawl inside ♪ wait by the light of the moon ♪ applebee's to go. order online and get $10 off $30. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
and get $10 off $30. discover card. i justis this for real?match, yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year, automatically. whoo! i got my money! hard to contain yourself, isn't it? uh huh! let it go! whoo! get a dollar-for-dollar match at the end of your first year. only from discover. i had a very minor fender bender tonight! in an unreasonably narrow fast food drive thru lane. but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part. 6r7b8g9sding b s rng okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
. more breaking news to last night's chemical attack in syria. a warning from the russian government after denying the syrian regime was responsible. russia is warning that military invention in syria where russian servicemen is based is absolutely unacceptable and can lead to serious consequences. the russian comments are following claims by activist groups that dozens of civilians
including children were killed when forces dropped chemical laced barrel bombs on rebel held city of douma. president trump is tweeting about the alleged attack saying president putin, russia and iran are responsible for backing animal assad adding big price to pay. joining me now is steve clemens, editor at large of the atlantic. steve, i'm guessing you're going to agree this is escalating quickly into a were of words. >> it's also a war we've seen before and this is one of the issues that has animated donald trump to take action in the past. of course, he took a very limited military strike after chemical weapons attack that killed many babies as he called them and we know from the national security decision making process that his staff in order to help move him along delivered a lot of pictures of these killed babies and it moved him and i have a sense that donald trump has been moved again by the photos, these horrific photos coming out of this attack and it has by saasiy
walked over the line he hasn't walked over much and criticized vladimir putin directly. >> does this potentially get the president to walk back on his stated intent of removing troops from syria, i think he said in what, five, six months. do you think this changes the equation for him? >> i don't know. i suspect not. if i were to speculate and i guess we're doing that, i think that donald trump's world view and remember, john bolten, his security advisor starts the job on monday. they aren't about big military presence and help building states. that doesn't mean they are not able to send cruise missiles but it means the presence that we've had is something. donald trump doesn't see a winnable solution in syria but he's driven to get out as
military advisors want to stay. i don't think as horrible as this tragedy is, donald trump will be thrown off that desire to get out of syria but that doesn't mean we're not going to see cruise missiles rain down on some targets now and then as america pulls back behind borders but delivers a punch after something we don't like. >> what do you think the chances are of him doing that? let's look how quickly lly he responded. he would do it quickly if he does it, is that the sense? >> i don't know if they will go into that situation f. he doesn't punish syria and punish the regime there for what has happened now, donald trump looks very weak because he himself has set up a behavior through which to look at what he does and that was to attack that chemical weapons portal, the polite attack, very little damage. the russians were advised and advanc advanced. it's very clear. we have understand the russians in my view are colluding with the syrians in keeping these
chemical weapons under wraps and on the side. we depended on the russians to help get chemical weapons out of syria as part of the deal and that's when barack obama did not move in and did not attack syria after the so-called red line and became a significato the chemic treaty. russia has helped that and right now they are protecting them. we're on a train wreck with that. i don't know what donald trump will do but if he stays true to form and isn't ridiculed, he'll have to find a way to punish the regime. >> everything you've just said begs this question, steve, is there a scenario under which you could see a u.s. russian conflict on the ground there? >> we almost are there. a number of times, yes. i think it is easy. the last time we gave early word to the russians, the russians were cleared out. i suspect we will work hard to make sure russians are not within range of whatever we attack again. we have no interest in an
american conflict but the theater is so close, the targets are so close, we have confusion between u.s. supported folks being killed by russians, russian supported troops being attacked by u.s. allied forces. in a proxy contest it's close. it's a danger but you will see even this trump white housework very closely to both deliver a blow to assad but to try to make sure that the russians are out of the way, the russians are going to yell but i think we'll try and show them, give them the benefit of at least forwarning of when we do. >> good to get you here in the studio. >> thank you. coming up next, could the work impeachment give republicans an edge? i'll talk about this with my panel of strategists next. ♪ managing blood sugar isn't a marathon. it's a series of smart choices. like using glucerna to replace one meal or snack a day. only glucerna has carbsteady...
unique blends of slow-release carbs to help manage blood sugar. every meal. every craving. it's the choices you make when managing blood sugar that are the real victories. glucerna. everyday progress. at ally, we offer low rates on home loans. but if that's not enough, we offer our price match guarantee too. and if that's not enough... we should move. our home team will help you every step of the way. still not enough? it's smaller than i'd like. we'll help you finance your dream home. it's perfect. oh, was this built on an ancient burial ground? okay... then we'll have her cleanse your house of evil spirits. we'll do anything, (spiritual chatter) seriously anything to help you get your home. ally. do it right.
you too. you tell grandma you were going fishing again? maybe. (vo) the best things in life keep going. that's why i got a subaru, too. love is out there. find it in a subaru crosstrek. if you're the epa administrator and two lobbiests change the locks, you got a problem. the bottom line is this doesn't look good. i like scott. he's done a good job from my point of view being epa administrator but the congress has an oversight rule here and we'll see where this goes.
>> does it look like he's engaged in questionable behavior to you? >> i don't think you can get a room for $50 a night. >> republican senator lindsey graham on the ethics question scott pruitepa chief scott pruit is facing, but the president is doubling down on his support for pruitt, tweeting defense of his security spending and epa record and going on to say his rent was about market rate, travel expenses okay. let's bring in former dnc chairman howard dean, and republican strategist susan. front and center. that's all good. i love that. howard, how do you defend this if you're the president, given this $50 a night room rate in capitol hill? come on, that's nowhere near the going rate. the $3 million for security details. he travels with 20 people, the first-class tickets. come on. >> two points about scott pruitt. he's terrible for the country and doing what most americans
hate. you know, his behavior has been appalling. as a professional, he has no profession. secondly, he's a terrific gift for the democrats. this guy is a crook. he's dishonest as the day is long. he's engaged in things that would have gotten most people fired if we had a president with the slightest amount of ethics. he's a great campaign poster for us. we're going to go all over the country. >> why, because you're going to put a swamp pick neture next to? the president campaigned on draining the swamp. >> if you drain the swamp and you find all the gunk at the bottom, that would be pruitt. that's how it would go. and that's why he shouldn't stay around because the governor is a thousand percent right. he will be a perfect campaign ad. president trump promised to drain the swamp. and he kept it intact. that's the biggest problem facing this president. so i think once he either sees either that kind of ad come out or potentially another story. there's a lot of talk there's
other things to still come out against him. so that could really turn the president's tide. >> you think one more big, bad dark head line and that's it? >> here's what i think that's more problematic. he didn't get this way when he got to washington. he was doing this when he was attorney general of oklahoma. sooner or later, somebody is going to do the research on him in oklahoma and find out there's stuff like this. this guy is dishonest. you don't get dishonest just because you go to washington. you usually are a little dishonest before you get there. >> but with this cabinet, there's also something else interesting. you have a few billionaires and very wealthy people who -- take betsy devos. she travels on a private plane, but she pays for it. you have some envy in kind of keeping up with the joneses amongst the cabinet. >> here's the article. in his haste roll-back rules, scott pruitt risks his epa agendas. it says he's been less than
rigorous. he puts forth a 97-page paper to address something that it took the obama administration 1300 pages with lots of details and policy and the like, whereas his 97-page paper addressing something was doing a lot of quotes of people in the auto industry and what they did not like and potentially rolling back emissions. i mean, how is it that the president can look at this and say, yeah, he's doing a good job? >> look, he's a min i me for th president. he pulls other people's ideas. he has no ideas of his own. pruitt is a mini trump. he's not capable of anything. it's no wonder the president likes him. >> all right, guys. impeachment. let's get to that topic because another "new york times" article is head lined, and i'll read that. republicans seize on impeachment for edge in 2018 midterms. a strategy is energizing on the right for how to energize conservatives and drive a wedge between the anti-trump left and moderate voters, warn that democrats will immediately move
to impeach president trump if they capture the house. does that potentially work for republicans? >> well, maybe in some conservative states if they're trying to keep -- if they're worried on the outskirts of some races. any house seat that was narrowly won or lost by the president, if you bring the president in as the deciding factor in those swing seats, the republicans will lose every single time because there's so much more motivation on the democratic side. so when you're talking about two or three points for some of these house races, the president is the last thing you want to bring in if you're the republicans. >> there's response from the democrats, but to further quote from this article, it says that democrats are divided in how to respond to the charge. many top officials in the capital fear it is a political trap that would distract from their core message and possibly even boomerang back to harm them in november. but other more progressive figures see impeachment as a rallying cry of their own to galvanize the left's anti-trump base.
so what is the right approach here? >> i think the right approach is to not talk about impeachment unless you have a reason to impeach him. you know, nobody likes him. he's incompetent, and so forth. fine. that's not a reason to impeach him. when we get the majority, and we're going to get the majority, we're going to do a real investigation, not like nunes, his maven over there that does whatever he tells him. we're going to do a real investigation. >> unless mueller beats you to it. >> unless he doesn't fire mueller. there's going to be plenty of reasons to look at donald trump's ethics. they'll be looked at. i don't think anybody should prejudge that. i also think that susan is exactly right. the biggest election so far, which happened last week, was not virginia. so far the biggest surprise to me is this incredible landslide, this liberal woman from wisconsin in winning the supreme court seat. they have the misfortune of having elected judges in wisconsin. she creamed the establishment
scott walker candidate. why? because it's not -- this is not about democrats being energized. this is about the american people being energized and sick of this crap. they're not going to vote for people who they think are corrupt. the gop is doing a pretty good job of making their brand corruption. >> all right, guys. i'm so energized having you two here. i have another hour to go, and i'm rearing to go after talking with you. thank you so much. >> thank you. in our next hour, john kelly chaos. a new report about the chief of staff and his oval office strife. the article prompting a response from the president on twitter this morning. truecar is great for finding new cars.
coming up next, a barbaric act. a suspected poison gas attack on a rebel stronghold in syria. the president is tweeting about it, blaming both russia and iran, but is he going to do anything about it? >> president assad needs to be held accountable for his war crimes. the united states, international community need to take action against russia and iran for what they're doing in syria. >> is it possible there will be another missile attack? >> i wouldn't take anything off the table. heading for the border. the national guard going south. is it really necessary? heading north, central american migrants. we caught up with some many mexico with their american dreams on hold. and losing it. new reports of john kelly clashing with the president and a decline in the general's oval office influence. a very good day to all of you. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. 1:00 here in the